As always, measurements are taken with my Vibro Veritas. As we have concluded before these measurements are not as accurate as industry standards but do give a great base point for comparisons, anything that is extra funky or wrong with the earphone and also channel imbalance. Lets start with the A10.
To keep things simple these measurements are with the stock auto modules. As we can see bass is pretty linear into the lower midrange, only on the slightest of upward gradients. After 2kHz there is a bit of an off dip and jump up and the treble does seem a little bumpy, perhaps causing the tinnier treble I am hearing. 4-5kHz shows a little drop out when for complete neutrality we are encouraged to have a boost in that area and 7kHz seems pretty in the mix while again ideally we have a small drop there, not that 7kHz was a problem audibly. Maybe they have done some slightly different tuning to account for ADEL. After 10kHz we do get a little peak upwards. Channel imbalance seems immaculate, showing up companies like Jomo whom was appalling in this regard. Onto the A12s also with auto modules.
As you can see once again we have great channel matching and also you may notice the curve after 1kHz is pretty similar. I said something fishy was going on beyond the bass. The bass here is clearly something more boosted, centring in the deeper regions around 100Hz but showing strength from as early as 300Hz. The rest does not need words as I have covered it above with the A10. Are they really that similar? Lets plot them together. Blue is A12, orange A10.
And yes they are (pretty much) identical curves beyond 100Hz, albeit the A10 is a little quieter throughout. That only backs up the earphones individual impedances, with the A12 (16 ohms) being 2 ohms less than the A10 (18 ohms). At 100Hz the gap between the two reaches 7dB so they are quite considerably different in terms of bass quantity, the rest of the earphone follows the same trend. The signature differences are only audible because of how the thicker and more boosted bass effects your perception of the other frequencies, and the same sensation happens when messing around with all 15dBs of adjustable bass with the JH Siren Series.
Now I did want to go over the differences you can achieve with the modules.
This is the A10. The yellow shows them with a fully closed MAM, the orange is the auto module, the purple is fully open MAM and then the blue is with no module installed. Obviously the fully sealed modules give the most bass, this is of course expected. You also have more than you get with slightly more open auto modules. Opening the MAM loses some bass, especially down under 100Hz (where most of the change is) but also is much flatter from 1 to 3kHz, maybe why I prefer them fully open. You don’t have that little up and down pattern. Obviously with no module in you get a huge bass roll off as you can see, this is not an option for listening but interesting nonetheless. Weirdly we get a huge spike just below 1kHz.
Here we have the A12 with the different modules, pink fully closed MAM, blue auto, yellow fully open MAM and orange no module.
When it comes to the modules the measurements only tell a small part of the story. That is because the module in use has a drastic effect on you’re feeling and the presentation of the music. While as we are able too see the bass, more correctly deep bass, is the only changes in frequency response, the feeling in your ears confirms there is more going on. A good example would be too take the modules out completely and your ears feel odd because while they have CIEMs in, something I am used too, there is no isolation and not an ounce of pressure in my ears. Putting my fingers over the ports and I get isolation, bass if listening to music and also a lot of pressure, instantly. I can only guess this pressure is what you experience with any other CIEM but you honestly don’t with any of the modules in. When you take you fingers off the ports opening up the earphones again, your ears almost pop, like when equalising pressure in an airplane cabin or on a scuba dive. To a lesser extent when opening up the MAM, you feel this release of pressure in your ear and isolation does get less. Basically the more open you have MAM, the less isolation you have, the less pressure you feel, the more open soundstage and precise imaging you hear only at the cost of some deep bass. I am feeling this ADEL tech work and I am liking it, I mean you are in essence getting an open back CIEM and while it does trade off some isolation, with future modules they are even working on that!